Children learn through play. As an occupational therapist who works with children and youth, I use games and toys almost every day to help develop important cognitive, visual perceptual, motor, sensory, social, play and leisure skills. While many different types of activities can be used in therapy, this blog focuses on off-the-shelf games and toys that are accessible to most. Whether you are a therapist, parent, teacher, or a game lover like me, I hope you discover something useful while you are here. Learn a different way to play a game you already own or discover a new game for your next family game night. Either way, just go play. It's good for you!

The OT Magazine named The Playful Otter one of the Top 5 Pediatric OT Blogs.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Picture Link

Work on visual discrimination, figure ground, visual closure, eye-hand coordination, visual scanning, pincer grasp, in-hand manipulation, manual dexterity, separation of two sides of hand, crossing midline, executive functioning, values, social interaction, play and leisure exploration and participation

In the box: 4 individual boards, 80 plastic markers
Ages 4+, 1+ players

Be the first to create a path from one side of your game board to the opposite side. The game includes four game boards and each player gets one. They are a cardboard-type material and are covered by a plastic that has short walls around each picture, like a honeycomb, so that your markers won't move around once you place them. Each board has 61 pictures, and the pictures on all four board are the same except they are in different locations. Pictures should be easily recognizable for most and include objects such as flag, panda, bell, heart, apple, keys, duck, sun, pencil, star, house, and grapes. Pictures are brightly colored. Players take turns calling out one picture. All players scan their board and cover that picture with a marker. The goal is to call out pictures in a row so that you are the first across, but keep an eye on what your opponents need so that you don't call out a picture that gives them the win first. Each marker has a short stem that comes up out of the middle that can be picked up with two or three fingers.

Try this:
  • Play with just one person. Call out a category, such as red, or animal. Cover all those pictures that have that attribute. Keep going until you have found categories for all pictures and the board is covered.
  • Place the markers flat on the table so the individual will need to use a pincer grasp on the stem to pick them up.
  • Place a marker in the player's hand. Ask him to turn it in-hand and bring it to the fingertips for placement.
  • Scan across each line of a board and name all the pictures. Go from left to right on each line.
  • Make a path from any one side to any other side, starting and stopping on a picture that is in the same category, such as both are animals, both have something yellow in them, or both are living.
If you are interested in purchasing this game or just want more information, click on the image below.

For Julie and Bernadette.

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